Simon Schama’s The Face of Britain
16 Sep 2015 – 4 Jan 2016
The historian joins forces with the gallery's curators to create five temporary displays within its permanent collections.
The collection is usually presented chronologically, but Schama's chosen portraits have been redisplayed according to themes; Power, Love, Fame, People and Self. It means that, uniquely, works from across different periods are shown alongside one another for the very first time.
Sir Winston Churchill and Baroness Thatcher sit with Elizabeth I in Power, while Rossetti and Jane Morris are joined by John Lennon and Yoko One in Love. Francis Drake meets Amy Winehouse in Fame, and a self-portrait room combines traditional renderings by Sir Joshua Reynolds and William Hogarth with Marc Quinn's head sculpture made from his own blood.
The display coincides with Schama's new BBC series and book with the same name.